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tv   Viewpoint With Eliot Spitzer  Current  October 10, 2012 5:00pm-6:00pm PDT

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seals or the seal's mom. i love this, that she stood up and said i don't want you to do this any more and the romney campaign has promised, all right, we won't tell the story on the campaign trail. "viewpoint" with eliot spitzer is next. we'll see you tomorrow. [ ♪ music ♪ ] >> eliot: good evening i'm eliot spitzer and this is "viewpoint." mitt romney flip flops on one of the most divisive issues in american politics--abortion. and the supreme court hears arguments on another divisive issue, affirmative action. we start with the election and the numbers. likely voters in the latest gallup poll are evenly split between romney and obama. and in ohio, obama leads by a single point and obama has a
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two-point lead in wisconsin and the president leads romney in florida. here's what he told the morning show. >> it's hard to keep saying what he's saying isn't true. >> governor romney had a good night. i had a bad night. >> mr. obama said despite the debate the fundamentals of the election hadn't changed, and he had this assurance for his supporters. >> is it possible that you handed him the election that night? >> obama: no. >> you're going to win? >> yes. >> eliot: as for how did mitt romney do against the president bill clinton had his own ideas. >> i thought w old
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moderate mitt. where you been, boy i missed you all these last two years. >> eliot: when he's moderate mitt made an appear lance tuesday when he explained his position on abortion to the des moines register. >> there is no legislation where regards to abortion that time' familiar with that would become part of my agenda is. >> eliot: that is the same mitt romney that said in a debate in january. >> do i believe supreme court shouldover turn roe v. wade? yes. >> eliot: and the president's comment. >> obama: this is another example of governor romney hiding positions he has been campaigning on for year and a half. >> eliot: i'm joined by sheera toplitz. in 24 hours the democrats have gone from panic to rebuilding. this is an emotional rollercoaster for the democratic leadership, and where do they go now and where do they settle out. >> there is a bit of a panic
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and that peaked over the weekend. they're start to regroup a little bit. you see operatives going out across the states. bill clinton becoming active in the campaign. they'll rebuild and regroup. tomorrow night is where they'll look to in the vice president debate. >> eliot: the race is in a new place. two weeks ago there was a sense of euphoria. now the entire game has been reset. then you hear the president was too poet light and you think joe biden will come out with a baseball bat ready to beat up paul ryan. what do you expect from paul ryan--i mean from joe biden and what do you expect next week from president obama given his acknowledgment that too pot light didn't work. >> let's start with tomorrow night. paul ryan will be interesting to watch. he has had a lot of experience doing the sunday shows being a
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policy wonk in the committee room and committee mark up, and on cable television news but he does not have experience in one-on-one debate situation. joe biden has more experience in this debate situation but he has not been doing it, he has not given a lot of interviews in four years. that said joe biden is a strong debater, and he'll probably be very aguess aggressive, but not nearly as aggressive the president is planning to be when he faces mitt romney again. >> eliot: i hope as we see him take apart the numbers of the paul ryan numbers and say it doesn't add up and be relentless and demanding and answers to paul ryan because we can fill 12 hours of debate and playing rope a dope and giveing answers. and it could make it clear that it's a bunch of swiss cheese flimflam and meaningless because
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it won't add up. i don't know if he'll be given the time and have the leeway to do that tomorrow night. i'm bringing a big bag of popcorn it will be fun to watch. >> it's not a copies dense that democrats have congressman chris van holen to be vice president biden sparing rep. they're definitely going hard on this ryan budget. >> we've lost count of how many etch-a-sketches there has been but this shift on abortion. this is something that had he done in the middle of the primary season might have disqualified him from the republican race. is this intentional, or was this just something that he let loose with in iowa or very recently. >> i would say this is a
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strategic decision by the romney campaign to emphasize or retate some of his policy positions this move to the middle. romney as a governor was definitely a moderate. as bill clinton mentioned. at some point he would have considered himself not pro-life but definitely not pro-choice either. but this move to the center is something that the romney campaign has probably been planning for a while and were afraid to go there because of these accusations of flip flopping. >> eliot: what i don't quite understand is they have at post convention there was no bump. he had the todd akin-paul ryan social agenda in the republican platform. he got no help. does this amount to rejection of paul ryan and the paul ryan social agenda because he's saying guys, you gave me nothing, and if it is, shouldn't he have done this and made this calculation before the convention? >> i don't think so, governor. i think there are other reasons
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that mitt romney's campaign might have had second thoughts of picking paul ryan. i don't think it's his conservative social positions but they'll have to defend this paul ryan budget that line-by-line democrats can rip apart if they choose to do so that is going to be a greater concern in boston. >> eliot: interesting to see the shift to the middle any way. we'll have to consider this as the days unfold. it's been grate to have you on the program. >> thank you. >> eliot: switching from the battle in the presidency to the battle in the supreme court to affirmative action. the court heard arguments in the fishers versus university of texas. she alleges she was denied acceptance to her home university because of her her.
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defend. >> we believe the educational benefits of diversity are so important they're worth fighting for all the way to the supreme court. >> most americans would like a day when we don't need to take race and ethnicity into account in admissions. we are not to that day. >> eliot: joining me now is the president of the national urban league and former mayor of new orleans, thank you mayor for joining me. >> i appreciate it. >> eliot: let me start with what is the hardest question, why do we still need affirmative action in higher education? >> well, there are two important reasons. one is what the consideration does it get to, a diverse student body. a diverse student body at
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institutions of higher education is where leaders and citizens of tomorrow who will operate in a more diverse world are being trained. the benefits of diversity in the student body in the student body as a role is apparent. secondly education is so basic to one's success that what we have to do is understand that many people still face crushing poverty. many barriers, discrimination, if you will, and considering race is one of a number of factors in addition to scores, and in addition to grades, i think it's an important option, an important thing for the nation to preserve. >> eliot: i want to pick up on the two strands that you articulated. the first one a critical point especially to higher education. the benefit of the affirmative action structure are not just to the individual admitted but the entirety of the university. >> think about it, governor, the world in which corporate
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executives, the world of public officials and the world we all work and live today are a diverse world by race, ethnicity, gender. certainly learning and being educated in an environment that looks like that world benefits each and every person whose part of that environment. that's often forgotten because we tend to think of it only as what benefited the individual who might be admitted. because of affirmative action policies. >> eliot: which is why so many presidents of institutions of higher constitution say do not keep us the freedom-- >> it's very good to see the president of the university of texas on the steps of the supreme court defending this. there are those who are saying to the courts we need this type of administration system. we need today's world to
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considerate amongst a number of factors who we admit. >> eliot: let's pick up on that thread. you say race alone cannot be the the deter manet factor. has race become a smaller and smaller percentage of what you look at when you measure access to opportunity? >> i think most universities are looking at a wide variety of factors of which race is one. family background, what high school you went to, ethnicity grades, test scores, a whole range of factors, participation in extracurricular activities. no students are alike and it is impossible to create a simple system to evaluate individuals. so race as a factor is one factor at the university of texas among a very long list of excessive 10, 20 factors that they utilize in filling--and this is important--less than
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half of the slots in the class because they've got another system which is if you go to a high school in texas and you're in the top 8%, 8% to 10% of your class you're automatically admitted to the university of texas. >> eliot: which was one methodology to overcome racism as well. >> exactly. they don't fill all of their available seats with that system. so they've got a more traditional way multi factor analysis to fill the rest of the seats. >> eliot: look, back nine years ago in the decision that is currently the one that defines the parameters of affirmative action, sandra day o'connor she said one day from now we will not need this. do you think we have made progress. she's saying at some point in the distant future we won't need this. >> we need to be proud as a nation that we've made enormous progress, enormous progress. however, too many students still
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face crushing poverty. too many students are still in difficult situations and have barriers connected to race and past racial discrimination. we need this as an element. we need this as a factor. i think what this court is being asked to do is simply maintain the status quo of the law. this court is being asked not to break new ground, but simply, simply to maintain the decision that sandra day o'connor was an important part of about ten years ago. >> eliot: now sandra day o'connor, that point was the swing vote. she, of course, retired and is replaced by justice alito. and justice kennedy, he has been much more skeptical and critical of affirmative action based upon race make a prediction. if you think the u.t. system survives. >> i think the u.t. system survives. i think both john roberts and
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anthony kennedy who i think when they look at this carefully and closely should give due deference to the state of texas. that's my hope. i certainly know that the argument was tough today and hard on both sides but look, this is important for the nation. we've come a long way but texas has a fair system. let's let them maintain it. >> eliot: i hope that is correct. i hope it bombs reality. former mayor of new orleans thank you for your time, i appreciate it. >> thank you. >> eliot: tomorrow live the vice president debate. i'll be here with governor granholm, cenk uygur and john fugelsang that's tomorrow night starting at 8:00 p.m. eastern right here on current tv. but coming up next, the story changes yet again on the attack in libya p.j. crowley joins me coming right up.
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seniors vote. it's a different story for those not yet old enough to express their fury in the ballot box. which brings us to our number of the day. $8 billion. that's how much the federal government trimmed from child health services last year, as fiscal stimulus programs were phased out. in fact, despite election talk about saving young generations from the federal debt, government has been neglecting children more and more. state and municipal spending for them has fallen every year according to the urban constitution. plus outlays for children are projected to drop from 10% to 8%. we have the third worst infant mortality and the second highest teen-age pregnancy rate. we're also in the bottom quarter for literacy. we're under funding our future. >>now that's politically direct.
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>> eliot: september, 2012, an attack on u.s. consulate in libya killed four americans including ambassador chris stevens. after the attack, the administration claimed the attack was a protest over an offensive youtube video gone bad. >> this is an response to a hateful and offensive video that was widely disseminated throughout the arab and muslim
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world. >> eliot: almost immediately that story ban to crumble, and it changed day by day and it was confirmed there was never any protest and the attack was pre-planned today press secretary jay carney defended earlier statements tying the attack to the video. >> when asked what happened we gave our assessments based on the information we had at the time. >> eliot: a notion reiterated by ambassador patrick kennedy testifying today before the house oversight committee. >> no one in the administration has claimed to know all the answers. we've always made clear we're giving the best information that we have at the time and that information has evolved. for example, if any administration official, including any career official were on television on sunday, september 16th, they would have said what ambassador rice said. >> eliot: joining me now p.j. crowley, former assistant secretary of state for public affairs for president obama as well as former special assistant for president clinton for
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national security affairs. now a professor at george washington university. thank you for joining us tonight. >> appreciate it eliot. >> working for ambassador rice, the state department, what appears to be evolving understanding about the awful story of what happened in bengahzi. why did ambassador rice make statements so quickly if there was such fluid information flow at the time? why not just remain quiet at that point? >> well any of us who are in front of the podium, you're only as good as the information that you have available at the time. as we all know frequently first reports get key elements wrong. i think there is a legitimate question not so much when the administration came out and said in care justice caveated statements this is the best information that we have available at the time, but they held onto that narrative for probably longer than was
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necessary. and then fast forward we got yesterday a definitive statement that there was, in fact, no protest. if that fact became an understanding that could have been put forward earlier than on the evening of an important congressional hearing. clearly the state department has struggled to construct and sustain it's narrative about what happened traditioncally tragically on september 11th. >> eliot: information flow is never perfect and sometimes far from it, but there seems to be contention between the state department and the u.n. are u.n. representatives knowing what was happening and why there was not the information flow as i see this properly. >> sure, but as you understood in the hearing even within single bureaucracies there are different points of view. they said today they were
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uncomfortable with the security in bengahzi and would like to see more assets. any military commander if you ask him, do you want more troops? the answer is yes. do you want more assets, the answer of course is yes. it just shows there is this difficult balance of being able to be accessible and doing your job as diplomats around the world, and having an appropriate level of security understanding that the risk is there and it is never going to be zero. >> eliot: look, p.j. you're making an important point. whenever you go back and mick a critique of the information flow, there will be failures and there will be judgments. that's the nature of bureaucracy. but the question then arises is this critique being driven by nefarious politics in a hearing by congressman issa where politics is interveneing
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improperly about the very tough judgment call about the security of our ambassadors. >> i would say the timing of this hearing is absolutely political coming three weeks or so of the presidential election. that said, the questions that members of congress from both parties put forward today are in fact, important questions. congressman issa said, i purpose here is not to point fingers but to learn lessons from this tragedy, and apply them to improved security around the world going forward. >> eliot: one state of issues clearly that you highlighted a few moments ago you're always going to have security focused with wanting more assets on the ground. what are you going to make from the presence of al-qaida surrounding bengahzi is this the result of a vacuum because the libyan government does not have
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the capacity to inject itself and enforce the laws? >> in fact, that's part of the analysis that came forward in the hearing today. it's unclear that if you put more security personnel inside the compound you could have repelled this attack because outside of the fence that responsibility of security rests with the host government, in this case libya understanding that this government, new as it is, is challenged, and it does not have the capacity that you would expect in a developed country, for example. i think that came forward today that even with more personnel you can probably construct a credible scenario that fewer people might have been killed. you could construct a credible scenario that fact more people would have been killed if there were more significant confrontation with this armed element that did, in fact, penetrate consulate perimeter.
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>> eliot: p.j. crowley, former assistant secretary of state for public affairs for president obama. thank you for joining us. >> thank you eliot. >> eliot: the first possibly only none controversial statement in this election, the viewfinder coming up next.
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>> eliot: coming up, the southbound debate preview who got joe biden ready for sarah palin four years ago, jennifer granholm joins me next. but first a visit to mr. romney's neighborhood, and steve colbert's idea of american royalty. when we don't have anywhere else to put it, we put it in the few finder. >> what does it look like to you, the political situation. >> there is an election coming up. i don't want to get controversial or anything but i think it's good for the country. >> hello neighbor. you see this?
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it's called a wallet. inside of a wallet, that's where money goes. now, you know what money is? i'm guessing no because you're watching public television. >> having released a lot of specifics about eliminateing various deductions or loopholes or whatever you said that your tax cuts would be revenue neutral. you wouldn't add to the deficit. let's go through how you would do that. >> romney ryan campaign we're very excited about all the details of our new tax plan. it's thick with arithmetic, math, and the sorts of things we haven't had time to walk the american people through. so let's do that right now and just take a hard look at these numbers. [ screaming ] >> what i want to do is make it simpler, fairer. i want to encourage the economy to grow again. >> so you're repealing obama-care but keeping the good parts of healthcare, social security and medicare for
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seniors and you're going to build more submarines and destroyers than the pentagon wants, i want to ask you a question. are you a wizard. >> i'm not going to layout a piece of legislation here. >> we can't wait to walk you through all the details math point by math point. there are some tricky--sasquatch tricky--sasquatch. sasquatch, you come here! you come here, no, no, yeti. >> hi there, it's a trolley. it's on the way to the neighborhood of make believe. that's where me and paul ryan get most of our facts from. >> the combination of limiting deductions and credits and exemption as well as the growth of the economy will make up for the reduction rate. >> i mean, do you have a royal family. >> yes, it's called the romneys. >> ha, ha, ha. >> eliot: as joe biden practices
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for his debate, we'll talk to the person who helped him practice for 2008. current tv's own jennifer granholm. that's next.
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it's just common sense. from td ameritrade. our conversation is with you the viewer because we're independent. >>here's how you can connect with "viewpoint with eliot spitzer." >>questions, of course, need to be answered. >>we will not settle for the easy answers. >> eliot: even presidents need to practice, that was evidence give president obama's nightmare-ish debate performance last week. now the stakes are significantly higher for vice president joe biden and the often gaffe-prone vp steps onto the debate stage to take on republican vp candidate paul ryan in kenyan mc tomorrow night. what can we expect? joining me few is governor governor granholm, host of "the war room" right here on on current tv.
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and the stand in for sarah palin for the preparation of 2008. what is it like to prepare joe biden. we know he is uncontrolled, says what ever pops in his head. how did you prepare him you are give all the credit. >> i wish i could take all the credit. i know when you prepare for gubernatorial debates i hate debate prep. i try to avoid it at all cost, but joe biden is completely game. he was eager to be able to do it. he was receptive he lightens the mood because you know these things can be really unpleasant. it's basically having an opposition memo in front of yourself read in front of a bunch of people and you have to figure out how to respond and all that. he was completely game and very very congenial very avuncular as you know. >> eliot: everybody has made a big deal about the fact that
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mistakes this thursday night are big. after the president's less than stellar performance the pressure builds on joe biden to right the ship. the pressure back in 2008 was big also, sarah palin was this juggernaut, and he handled that. is he ready for the pressure is my sense. >> this will be a more enjoyable debate for this because he can really take the gloves on. with sarah palin it was tricky. she was an outsider from washington. she didn't know all the ins and outs of the intricacies of federal legislation and foreign policy, so he had to treat her in a different way than you would say someone like paul ryan who is a wonk and knows policy very well. i think he's going to really enjoy this debate because he'll be able to go toe-to-toe, head-to-head really no holds bar. it will be fun to watch, and we're going to be watching together on thursday night. i can't wait. >> eliot: interestingly you didn't mention one thing that
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makes it hard, that's gender. make i can raise it more easily. it's more hard for a man to debate a woman and be aggressive without appearing overly aggressive and that was part of the dance with sarah palin whereas with paul ryan he can throw a left hook and no one is going to think the worst of him for it. >> and i think with paul ryan too, there is such a great opportunity to talk about the contrasts between the tickets. with paul ryan and ayn rand there is just a ripe opportunity for joe biden to come out swinging. you're right with sarah palin it was a little bit different. that issue about a man debating a woman is less and less as baby boomers get a little bit older but it definitely is an underlying current. not this debate. that's why it will be a great debate to watch. >> eliot: it will be great. i'm sitting here smiling talking about objectivism. i'm not so sure he's going to
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get to the philosophy of this stuff. >> but he'll go right to the heart of what it mines and who we are as a nation, and why we should make sure that we protect people and all of that. >> eliot: he will bring what was sorely lacking from the president, passion. he'll be out there just jumping out from behind his podium saying this is why we care. here is the toughest moment for himnesses perhaps when paul ryan quotes back to him and if i was paul ryan i would do it over and over again the the infamous quote from the vice president who said the middle class has been buried the four years. how do you prepare him to respond to that? >> i think that what you do is you say look, that was just a quick statement, and he jumped into the following sentence, and it was very quickly picked up where he explained what he meant. biden says, once in a while i get my words wrong. but almost every time you get yours policy wrong. not only that your candidate
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stood in front of 60-70 million people and lied repeatedly about what the policies are that you guys yourselves have been putting forward. i think he contrasts a gaffe with lies, frankly. in fact, i just had nancy pelosi on my show, and she was making this very observation that joe biden may have made some gaffes in the past. that's one of the reasons why we like him. he's human but that's much different than out and out lying. >> i think you just said it. you need that crisp sound that resonates with people. every now and again i get my words wrong but you get your policies wrong every time. i then you launch into the lies. the hard part will also be taking apart paul ryan's budget because you get into numbers so quickly that you lose people. yet some how the vice president needs to pierce the veil that has surrounded paul ryan that he knows his stuff he's so smart
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and that the numbers add up. they don't add up. i'm not going to attack his intellect, but his numbers don't add up. he needs to take the chalkboard and say this is arithmetic and you fail. >> it's an opportunity to pull a ross perot moment if he wanted to use a prop. but paul ryan has been seen as this serious person with serious knowledge about the budget when, in fact, if you just be very straightforward and simple about adding it up you can see that he contributes a huge amount to the deficit. which he pore potters that he wants to fix. >> eliot: the ryan policies does not solve the tax problems. it's 0-for-3. >> i like that. >> eliot: send that on to joe
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biden. he can use that, too. we'll be here thursday night and we'll be here with popcorn and soda. jennifer granholm, thank you so much for your time. looking forward to seeing you for our coverage. >> youyou betcha. >> eliot: as for the presidential debate. it was the first one. is it time to panic? that's ahead.
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>> eliot: a billionaire resort owner tells his employees they may lose their jobs if barack obama gets reelect: that's next in my view. but first, a reminder tomorrow night join me along with cenk uygur, john fugelsang and governor jennifer granholm as we cover the vice presidential debate. al be an exciting match up. here on current tv. more "viewpoint" coming right up. (vo) what is said here could decide the election. current tv presents coverage of the
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vice presidential debate. with unrivaled analysis and commentary. >> was this the game changer? is this going to change the dynamic? (vo) the only network with real-time reaction straight from the campaigns and from viewers like you. >> so keep on tweeting and maybe you'll have your voice be part of this democracy and see your tweets up on our screen. >> eliot: stop whining. that's my message for david siegel, the founder and ceo of westgate resorts. he's one of the largest resort developers in the world and i usually have enormous respect for him. mr. siegal started a business out of his garage, and started a huge time share company that operates more than 10,000 units at 28 resorts. for that i congratulate him. but on monday siegal sent the
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thousands of employees at westgate a long letter that he drafted saying that if barack obama is re-elected he might be forced to lay many of them off. i quote, if any new taxes are levied on me or my company as our current president prance i will no choice but to reduce the size of this company. the crux of his complaint, he's paying too much taxes. i quote, they want you to believe that it some how makes sense to take more from those who create wealth and give it though those who do not. and some how the economy will improve. they don't want you it know that the 1% as they like to label us pay more than 31% of the taxes in this country. but he's wrong. they today 21.6% of the taxes in 2011. but here's the key they earned 21% of all the income. the middle 20% earned 11.4% of
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the income and paid 10.3% of the taxes. and the bottom 20% earned only 3.4% of the taxes and paid 2.1% of the taxes. in the end it all evens out. people pay the same percentage of the taxes as they earned of the income. sound pretty darn fair to me, david. no redistribution there. just carrying one's fair share. yet david said he's so frustrated his motivation to work may be destroyed all together because of the current system. he blamed it all on a system that penalizes the productive and gives to the unproductive. but again he is wrong. government has to take from all for the good of all. including for the good of mr. siegel. just one example. westgate's property at the smoky mountain resort and spa in gatlinberg tennessee people go there and pay there siegel a
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whole lot of money to appreciate the beauty of the great smoky mountains. the first national park in which the federal government spent its own money to wyland. no national park, no resort that people would pay for. you wouldn't want to build a resort there without reliable public and fire system or the road to get there or the system to give drinkable water. in this community we all rely on each other. we all give something and we all give something back. as the president said about so many of the things that make it possible to do business here, you didn't build that. he was right. that's my view. talks about having having a go go dancer mom, richard pryor for a dad, and a madame for great grandmother. hello, paging dr. freud.
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>> eliot: it's the pew poll that rattled the political ward. mitt romney's four-point advantage over likely voters nationwide in the wake of president obama's dismal performance in denver. did obama just throw the entire election away lamented i have never seen a candidate self-destruct for no external reason this late in a campaign before. i'm trying to see a silver lining, but when the opponent shines with lies and smiles, and a record of people watch, it's hard to see how the it would bent the party. challengers also generally profit from the first debate in eight of the ten election cycles since 1976 the polls moved against the incumbent and a net gain of two or three percentage points for the challenger is a
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reasonable typical figure. do i deticket that--detect that this is a big panic and charles pierce author of "idiot in america" thank you for joining us. >> thankthank you for having me. >> eliot: is this panic time or should people chill out and relax a little bit. >> it's time for concern obviously because there is a triple number, while it's not as graphic as the pew poll, but it tracks in the same direction. anyone who was surprised that in an era even though it's below 8% unemployment is nudging 8% and having a presidential election was someone who was not paying attention. >> eliot: the president's performance was one that he spoke. there was no passion no energy no fight. and if somebody had observed if he's not going to fight for
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himself to defend himself he's not going to fight for us. his demeanor fit the imagery that the republican party is trying to create about him he's weak vacillating and some how disengaged. was that the real barack obama in which case there is reason to be concerned or will a different barack obama emerge in the next debate. >> weak, vacillating and disengage does not give the order to get bin laden and get the health care reform passed. that's an over statement. he didn't have a great performance. the whole point of rope a dope, you have to come off the ropes and throw a punch. otherwise it's a strategy to get hit in the stomach a lot. >> eliot: your metaphor is exactly part. yet i think during the course of the debate he was up on the ropes the entire time. he needs to get off the ropes or people think he's playing defense. also he needs to call out mitt romney on the lies. there is an objective reality. you can give speeches the next
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day and hope headlines rebut the claims being made by mitt romney, but the best venue in which do to it is to do it is the debate itself. does he have to get more aggressive. >> i think he needs to get his hands around the fundamental issues of the campaign. mitt romney, someone who lived under his barely distinguishable leadership pit pit is a preposterous public figure. it's absurd that four years after the financial sector almost burned down the world that one of our major political parties would elect mitt romney for president. it's absurd that the principle reason for his candidacy for six months was running away from all the good he did in massachusetts. and it's preposterous to believe that he suddenly made this turn to the middle for any other reason but naked political expediency. he's a ridiculous figure on many levels. unless the president is willing to illustrate that, he'll continue to be. >> eliot: charles, i agree with
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every one of the statements you just made. but my question to you then is why can he and how can he survive in our political arena? is there nobody out there calling out these misreputations or reminding the public of what caused the cataclysm of 2008? how is it that we so misunderstand it, and then lapse back in the same policies that created it in the first place. why this void and as the title. your book, when did idiocy become a virtue. how do you get your arms around that. >> i don't have to explain to you what should have happened to the people who crashed the economy. one of the penalties i think in the long term that the president is paying now for quote/unquote looking forward and not back on the crimes and malfeasance that led to the economic collapse is that he can't credibly attack mitt romney as that same creature of this that universe now. i think he's being penalized now for his apparent serious belief
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that there is a bipartisan consensus to be found somewhere in washington when we have two political parties, and one of them is clearly demented. he hasn't left--he hasn't left--the president hasn't really left himself much room to stand to swing back on. >> eliot: i agree with most of--as opposed to your last comment, i wouldn't call them demented. they come from a different advantage point, and disagree with every premise underlying their policies. demented may be hard, but you're right, the desperate effort to find compromise has got to come to a halt when he realized there is not an overlap of principles and you fight for your perspective. your point is a critical one. by failing to articulate early in his term why we had the crisis he permitted the tea party to emerge with all the anger of the public and had to deal with it down the road and
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then had to point a finger and explain why mitt romney should had not benot be the standard of this nation. >> this is a debate that was glossed over, i almost fell out of my chair when i heard it. he was attacked from the left by mitt romney on the issue of wall street reform. he was positioned as a creature of the wall street banks by mitt romney. >> eliot: yes, this was a moment when i didn't know what side of the looking glad i was on. it was absolutely bizarre perspective that mitt romney is now taking accuseing barack obama of protecting the big banks. there is something bizarre about this, but mitt romney is getting away with it. let me ask you again. when is there the lack of accuracy, having opinions tethered to facts when did that gain such credibility in the public? >> i can't go through the entire theory, but i do know that when
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we became a political entity, a political commonwealth that valued what works more than what is actually true. that was one big step. when people in my business, and i don't let my business off the hook in this at all accept it the idea that perception is reality. perception is not reality. reality is reality. and it's the job--i don't mean to preach but it's the job of the journalist to pound the perception until it becomes more inopportune with the reality rather than vice versa. as soon as we accepted this marketing techniques and advertising dynamics as the way we define in public what is true and what isn't then we went too far down the road to come back. >> eliot: i think that's exactly right. a longer conversation that we'll have to continue some other night. as you say at the end of the day day, it
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